Football News

Jurgen Klopp reveals which position he prefers Alexis Mac Allister in at Liverpool

By CJ Smith

Published: 17:55, 5 April 2024

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted he prefers playing Alexis Mac Allister in a more advanced midfield role, but has praised the Argentine’s ability to play further back. 

Signed from Brighton the summer for his creative abilities, injuries and international commitments have meant Mac Allister has often had to play in a deeper No.6 role for Liverpool this season, helping to build out from the back and also provide a defensive shield for those behind him.

More recently, the form of Wataru Endo has meant Mac Allister has been able to push up more and make his presence felt in the final third, but with the Japan international left out of Thursday’s 3-1 win over Sheffield United as a fitness precaution, Mac Allister was deployed further back again.

It didn’t seem to bother the World Cup winner one bit, though. It was Mac Allister who effectively won the game with a wonderful strike in the 76th minute, but that was just one part of a performance that totalled three shots, two chances created, 78 completed passes, four tackles and seven recoveries. The 25-year-old was the best player on the pitch and firmly earned the praise of his manager after the match, though Klopp still admitted he prefers Mac Allister as a No.8 when asked by reporters.

“I understand 100 per cent that that’s coming now but he played a good game in the first half already. It was not about him being in the position. It makes probably even more sense. But all the movements around were then not exactly like [they] should have been. If we talk about Macca and is he better on eight or six, they are two different subjects to talk about. One is this defensive part – that was obviously really good – where people probably were doubting him a little bit, ‘Can he be this kind of defensive midfielder?’ But for the other position, he could have had a similar impact,” said Klopp.

“Yes, I prefer him as well on eight but we are not living in dreamland, so we had the problem on the position tonight and, in the end, it worked out. But yes, the impact, we saw as well that it would be helpful to have him between the lines, between the right lines, their last line. That’s why we changed. But then we changed back to a double six – there he was deeper again. I don’t even exactly know when he scored – if it was from the double six, probably, where we played already 4-4-2, I think, and it was not on eight. But the impact he can have is massive everywhere.”

Mac Allister now has four goals and three assists in his last six appearances across all competitions and his form is a huge part of why Liverpool remain in the thick of the title race, while also looking to add the Europa League to the EFL Cup trophy already sitting in their cabinet.

The Reds are once again top of the table, two points ahead of Arsenal and three clear of Man City, though up next is a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United, who beat them 4-3 in the FA Cup less than a month ago.